“Hey, careful!” Tom chuckled as Bob’s eyebrows furrowed, his gaze fixed on the stain his shirt now sported. He let out a heavy sigh of defeat and continued walking toward the corner of the bar where Jeff and Roy were already waiting for them.
Jeff raised an eyebrow at the frankly pretty obvious wet spot in the front of Bob’s shirt and Bob sighed again. “I tripped. That happens to old people, Jeffrey.”
The usual protests arose from the round. Bob wasn’t that old yet! Where would that leave them? They weren’t much younger than him after all. Bob smiled tightly. He didn’t feel as old as he just pretended to, but still. Sometimes he felt like the years were just running past him and he didn’t achieve those very things that mattered the most to him if he was honest.
Tom raised his glass next to him. “To good music and friendship!” Jeff and Roy mirrored him. “To the Wilburys!” Bob held up his glass, too, and took a sip. Jeff started talking about a song idea he and George had been working on and that he suspected George had stayed behind for. The topic changed to studio stories soon after, but Bob’s thoughts were still set on George.
George had stayed behind in the studio, wanting to try out an idea he had had. He had told them he’d join them if he didn’t finish too late, but a glance on the clock near the bar a few minutes ago had told Bob that George most likely wouldn’t make it. He would probably head back to their hotel room instead and have an evening in. Bob wondered what he was doing right now.
“What about you?” The three faces of his friends were looking at him inquisitively.
“Uh.” He hadn’t kept track of what the conversation was about. Tom snorted and Jeff snickered silently. Bob saw a smirk forming on Roy’s mouth before the other man repeated what they had been talking about. They all wondered if George was going to start dating again and if they should attempt to hook him up with someone.
“D’ya know if there’s anyone that’s struck his fancy?” Tom asked him. Bob felt like someone had just punched the air out of him. Sure, he was trying to keep his crush on George hidden, but apparently, he was doing an even better job than he gave himself credit for. Even his closest friends couldn’t tell.
“Nah, man.” He shook his head. “I’m not one to meddle, y’know?” He took another sip of his drink, trying to ignore Tom’s gaze lingering on his before the blond turned back toward Jeff and Roy. He understood Tom’s disbelief- he was one of George’s best friends after all. Sometimes he’d even go as far as claim the best friend title for himself. And yet- he truly didn’t know if George had someone he was interested in. Bob sure hoped he didn’t.
At some point, it turned quarter past eleven and Bob, who had long finished his first drink and not gotten refills like his friends, waved his goodbye. He was tired and, if he was quite honest, he didn’t want to hear any of his friends’ drunken meddling plans anymore. He turned around once more and nodded toward them. They didn’t seem to be watching him, though. Roy was looking down into his almost empty glass pensively, while Tom was whispering something into Jeff’s ear while gesticulating widely. Bob wondered if he noticed the blush that had formed on Jeff’s cheeks, if he noticed it probably wasn’t (only) the alcohol. They should probably meddle out their own affairs before George’s.
He left and walked back the relatively short way to the hotel. He spent those ten minutes in silence, pondering over his friends’ attempt at getting George a date. The thought alone already made him jealous of whomever they might try to match him with. George was too good for anyone they might find. He was too good for Bob, if he was being honest. It was one of the reasons that had kept him from ever making a move on him.
He mulled the situation over and over again and, remembering Tom drunkenly making Jeff blush, somehow came up with what must have been one of his dumbest ideas yet. It was absolutely bonkers, but at least there would be no lasting damage done if it went wrong.
He unlocked their shared hotel room with hands that were half shaking for real and half for the effect. Then he fell into the room, shoulder pressed to the door as it swung open, and closed it carelessly behind himself.
He had messed up his hair in the elevator and opened his shirt’s first couple of buttons. He had checked his shirt’s smell, too: still smelling very alcoholic. His mouth, too, still tasted of alcohol although it had been a while since he had finished his drink back at the bar. Lastly, he had untucked one corner of his shirt from his pants. A glance in the elevator’s mirror had told him enough. He looked convincingly wrecked.
So it came to no surprise that George, previously seated on the hotel room’s couch, jumped up at his sight, letting out a loud, worried “Bob!”
Bob blinked as if he had trouble making him out and let himself stumble forward. And forward. Until he collided with George, breathing down hotly against his neck as he felt George’s hands on his waist, trying to hold him steady. It was now or never.
“Bob, what happ–“ He instantly fell silent as Bob began nibbling on the skin below his chin. He was shivering below Bob and Bob suddenly couldn’t help but hope that this was a sign for something he hadn’t ever dared hope for.
“Bob. Bob! You are- You are dru–!“ Bob pulled back abruptly and looked George in the eyes wildly. He didn’t have to feign the drunkenness in order to do so. George was doing this to him already. He made Bob feel drunker than any alcohol would ever be able to.
George looked at him, face flushed and with big eyes. There was worry in them, so much care, and Bob could only feel love for him. Bob couldn’t help himself any longer. He leaned in and pressed his mouth against George’s. George, who only whimpered for a moment, before caving in and kissing back just as passionately. Bob felt a shaky hand slide under his shirt, running experimentally over his back, and couldn’t help but smile as he kept kissing George. He wanted him back.
He pushed a strand of hair out of George’s face and tucked it behind his ear, breaking the kiss only shortly to gasp for air. George, too, drew in a sharp breath, looking entirely wrecked from their kiss alone. But also worried. Bob pulled him toward him with enough strength that he nearly made them stumble. Then, he walked forward, making George hit the side of the couch. He went to nibble on George’s ear while grinding against him lazily, delighting in George’s silent moans and the hand that had found his bottom and was holding him close.
Until all of a sudden, George stilled below him and Bob pulled back, worried. George looked at him with so much concern that it did nothing but made Bob want to kiss it all away, but he waited. “Bob–“ George said quietly. He reached up and gently caressed Bob’s cheek. Bob pressed back into the touch, but he would never admit to the purr-like sound that left his lips then. “– you’re drunk.” George looked at him sternly, but not angrily. “And I won’t take advantage of that.”
He pushed Bob backwards carefully and made toward the kitchen. “I’ll get you water. You should sleep this out...“ Bob wrapped a hand around his arm lightly, stopping him in his tracks.
“I’m not drunk, Georgie.” It was barely audible, but George turned around to face him, expression doubtful. “Look me in the eyes. I’m not drunk. I was just fucking scared, and I realized I had to do something before I’d lose you to someone else.”
George remained silent for a moment, clearly thinking things over. Then his gaze met Bob’s again. “But... there is nobody else? There’s just you.”
Bob swore he could hear his heart beat loudly in his chest right then. “Holy hell, give a man a warning!” He took a step closer, hand sliding from George’s arm to hold his hand instead. He studied George’s open expression for a moment. The worry had almost entirely faded away and there was just love there. So much love. How had he managed to be so painfully oblivious that he hadn’t noticed that George felt the same way about him all along?
He looked at him more closely. The big eyes, the faint blush on his cheeks, the big eyebrows, the laughter lines in the corner of his eyes... He truly loved this man more than anyone else. He reckoned it was time to tell him so.
Bob also took George’s other hand in his and squeezed both lightly, running his thumbs over the warm skin. He looked at their interlocked hands for a moment and smiled to himself. He wanted this, for however long George would allow it.
“I love you, George.” It wasn’t as quiet as George’s confession but he was stating a matter of fact, as well, no doubt whatsoever in his voice. No drunkenness.
Bob watched the emotions displayed so openly on George’s face change – from shock to happiness, to disbelief to confusion, to hope to–
“I love you, too, Bob.” He looked like he wanted to say something more but he just shook his head.
“Sorry for, y’know,” Bob let go of one of George’s hands and gestured toward himself awkwardly. “Playing drunk and all that.”
“It’s alright.” George gave him a little smile and pulled Bob against him. “You gave me a scare there, but at least it got the job done.” He shook his head and his smile widened.
George then cocked his head and his mischievous grin made Bob smile back at him before he had even uttered his next words. “Want to continue this?” He pressed a kiss to Bob’s nose and let his hand wander teasingly over Bob’s back. They were chest to chest and all Bob could think about was how he wanted to get back to kissing George for as long as he could.
“Always.” It slipped out of his mouth before he was able to form a better reply. George’s hand stopped moving for a short moment, before George chuckled and pulled on Bob’s hand, dragging him along behind him toward couch.
“That’s an impressively long time, y’know?”
“Not that long if you love someone.” Bob smiled at him gently when George sat down on the couch and pulled Bob down to sit next to him.
“I reckon that’s right.” He looked into Bob’s eyes silently and Bob lost himself in them for a moment.
“Getting to spend that time with you sounds... quite delightful.”
He smiled at Bob, and Bob knew that the best part of his life, no matter how old he was, still lay ahead of him. He smiled widely when George kissed him.